Chicago is With You Task Force, Mental Health and Wellness Subcommittee
Mental Health First Responders
Two Executive Orders signed in early 2017 profoundly changed the United States Refugee Resettlement Program and triggered global responses of outrage and disappointment of the current Administration’s decision to block the most vulnerable of society from safe refuge. The Order halted all refugee arrivals to the United States for 120 days, banned arrivals from six Muslim-majority countries (Syria, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Libya), and reduced the total number of refugees allowed in the country to 50,000 arrivals from the 110,000 arrivals previously approved under the Obama Administration. As reflected in the media, the Order has also impacted Green Card holders and those with approved visas from the six restricted countries. Moreover, reports on the ground have indicated refugees and immigrants from non-restricted countries are also being detained at ports of exit including some Eastern European countries and countries throughout Africa.
Despite rulings in the U.S. Court of Appeals in the Fourth and Ninth Circuit that put a stay on both bans, the U.S. Supreme Court announced a review in October and authorized parts of the original ban to be reinstated on June 26, 2017. As such, we are again mobilizing mental health providers to respond to those most impacted by the policies of current Administration and those who will be impacted in the future.
This Call to Action is to address four specific groups impacted by the latest Executive Order:
Tasks and Responsibilities of Volunteers:
The various ILRMH workgroups will provide ongoing supports to any First Responder who is trained through:
 Individuals held for secondary questioning identified at the airport or via referral from the respective refugee resettlement agency.
 The U.S. Tie for any case that has been deleted will be identified by a coordinated Refugee Resettlement Agency collaboration (lead agency: RefugeeOne), and will be contacted and screened by ILRMH refugee mental health providers. Those that request services will then be referred to a volunteer.
 Individuals filing for emergency asylum as a result of their detention will require mental health evaluations by a psychiatrist and trained clinician, and providers who have experience providing expert testimony in court.
ILRMH Programs for First Responders
Register to be a First Responder
Update as of 8/3/17: No additional recruitment sessions at this time. Stay tuned!
*Monthly PD sessions will be provided through the You Are Not Alone Initiative at Lurie Children's Hospital beginning Aug. 2017
Photo credit: Members of the CWY Mental Health First Responders Training Team.
From left to right: Mayra Chacon (CIMH/CSPP), Aimee Hilado (ILRMH/NEIU/RefugeeOne), Virginia Quinionez (CIMH/CSPP), Jessica Vasquez (CIMH/Adler/ICIRR), Maria Ferrera(CIMH/DePaul)